|   Posted: March 01, 2021

After losing his mother, Joffian spiraled into a deep depression. But with the support of the local Compassion center, he is now filled with hope and healing.

From Depression to Hope

After losing his mother, Joffian spiraled into a deep depression. But with the support of the local Compassion center, he is now filled with hope and healing.

Joffian and his friends

In June 2016, everything changed for Joffian, a Compassion-assisted young man in Indonesia. At just 14 years old, he lost his mother — the only person who truly understood him — tragically to a heart attack.

Joffian was typically a quiet, sensitive soul who preferred spending time at home or hanging out with his close friends. However, after he lost his mother, Joffian’s grief triggered a downward spiral. He began struggling with his mental health and picked up new, destructive behaviors. He began hurting himself and others.

“He would make trouble with his friends at school,” says Friyandly, a child protection specialist at the partner church-based center that Joffian attends. “He would fight them and even invited one of his teachers at school to fight him. He made trouble with the tutors at the Compassion center.”

Joffian lost interest in learning. At home or at church, he behaved aggressively and became easily offended.

Joffian and his friends
14-year-old Joffian

The staff at his Compassion center worried about him, so they decided to take him to the public hospital to talk to a doctor. There, nine months after the death of his mother, Joffian was diagnosed with severe depression.

The doctor recommended that Joffian travel to Manado, a larger city in Indonesia, to receive treatment from a psychiatrist. You see, there were no psychiatrists in Joffian’s village. In fact, in his community — and across the country of Indonesia — mental health struggles carry a stigma. Most people do not have access to mental health support, and many suffer in silence. But the leaders at Joffian’s center were not going to let these stigmas, biases and limitations stop his healing. They took Joffian to Manado to receive treatment.

“I was nervous the first time I met [my psychiatrist],” says Joffian. “But after my first counseling appointment had finished, I felt more relaxed. I had lots of chances to share my feelings when I talked with her.”

Joffian received two weeks of treatment in Manado. It included 10 counseling sessions with the psychiatrist, some medication and a day-long vacation to the northern part of the city. And in those two short weeks, Joffian began to improve.

“After the treatment, his behavior began improving,” says Friyandly. “He was able to control his emotions, and he tended to avoid people when they talked badly about him, instead of inviting them to fight.”

The Compassion center continued to be a safe environment for Joffian to work through his grief and heal. Joffian meets regularly with Friyandly, whom he now considers a brother and father-figure. He no longer causes problems. Slowly, he has learned how to deal with the pain of losing his mother.

Joffian and a friend sit in a tree

“I don’t want to misbehave anymore, because I don’t want people to see me as a bad person,” says Joffian.

Thanks to sponsors like you, children and youths like Joffian across the world are cared for holistically. Their mental health is not overlooked — instead, it is valued and cared for, just like their physical and spiritual health. Thank you for ensuring that children and young people are emotionally supported and protected!

To help more children receive care like Joffian did — especially the ones who are still waiting for sponsors — consider giving to the Unsponsored Children’s Fund today.